Ball of Foot Pain
Ball of the foot pain is usually caused by Metatarsalgia or Morton’s Neuroma. However, there are other conditions such as a plantar plate tear, stress-fracture and so on, so it is important to get a correct diagnosis.
Causes: usually as a result of incorrect weight distribution on the forefoot (such as wearing high heels, Hammer toes) and/or overuse (standing on hard floors for long periods of time, dancers, high-impact sports, etc). Being over-weight. If you have calluses on your feet, this can make the balls of the feet painful too. Onset is often gradual. Very common.
Symptoms: a pain in the ball of the foot, often like a bruise, numbness, pins and needles or burning. Inflammation. Often linked to other conditions such as arthritis, muscular-skeletal conditions, etc.
Treatment: ice, rest, padding, change footwear – no high heels! Possibly need orthotics if there is a biomechanical problem and cushioned footwear such as gel trainers. Avoid walking bare-footed. Modify activities for a while. If left untreated, other complications can arise such as hip pain, where the gait may change to compensate for the pain.
Causes: usually due to repetitive trauma which causes the ends of the nerves to get trapped and pinched between the toes when walking. Hammer or claw toes can also cause the nerves to rub on the ligaments.
Symptoms: neuralgia pain or numbness on the bottom of the foot radiating towards the 3rd and 4th toes. Made worse by wearing high heels or walking on hard surfaces. Also painful if you squeeze the forefoot together. Patients sometimes complain of a feeling of a pebble in their shoe.
Treatment: ice, anti-inflammatories, padding, orthotics if mechanics of the foot are faulty. If these do not work, then ultrasound can help. Surgery may be necessary if symptoms persist.